TODAY! Melb Uni Forum: Resistance in Australian Concentration Camps
26 May, 2016
Babel building: middle theatre
The political system in Australia knows no bounds when it comes to the detention and torture of refugees and asylum seekers. For twenty years, both major political parties have worked to detain and isolate refugees, to put them through inhumane conditions in camps on the mainland and offshore, and starve them of rights if they do manage to get into the community. These conditions are calculated to crush refugees, to make them return to the same war-torn and economically ravaged countries where they escaped from. Liberal and Labor say they do this in the interests of "national security", maintaining a racist narrative around boat arrivals that has become consensus in the political world.
The situation for refugees is getting worse. In the past couple of weeks, two refugees have self-immolated in protest against their treatment, and another has committed suicide to escape what is hell on Earth. Refugees on Nauru and Manus Island have been courageously protesting in defiance of the day-to-day brutality they receive in these centres.
In this meeting hosted by Socialist Alternative, we want to shine light on the true extent of the barbarity of the refugee system - but also to understand why it is that the government treats refugees in this way, and discuss the kind of politics we need to fight it. Hear from refugee advocate Phoebe Stewart on the detention system today and from student anti-racist activists on the struggle for refugee rights past and future.